Nearly three years ago, The Wonder Years dropped No Closer To Heaven. This would be the first album to exist outside of the context of the quintessential coming of age trilogy that spanned The Upsides to The Greatest Generation and showcased a willingness to mold their songwriting into a grittier and more biting body of work while continuing to build outwardly from the sound they’d been perfecting for nearly half of a decade. The result was an album that felt more mature than anything the band had released before — and it looks like this trend is set to continue with their new album Sister Cities.
The album was announced earlier this week and is scheduled for an April 6th release via Hopeless Records and The Loneliest Place on Earth. Today, they released the Josh Coll directed music video for the album’s titular track — and it’s dark, cynical energy bleeds feels at home with the energy coming from the band. On “Sister Cities,” it’s clear that The Wonder Years have shed the pop-punk skin that kept them safe in their early careers.
This feels ambitious — the drums are huge and the bassline is so buoyant and punchy that you can’t help but bob in solidarity. Dan’s lyrics are still rich with vibrant imagery, as evident in lyrics like “The Andes hold me close; a mother’s only son. I feel weightless in the valley/like I’m everywhere at once” and again in a chorus of “I’m laying low/A stray dog in the street/You took me home/We’re sister cities.”
Vocalist Dan Campbell talks about the inspiration for the album saying “It started with journals and photos. We started by documenting. We didn’t know where it would go or if it would go anywhere at all but we wrote it all down. We took photos of everything. And then when it came to put it altogether, we had this catalog of how we felt and what it looked like and sounded like and we built from there. Figuring out what the moments were that stayed with me the most. When did I feel most connected to the people around me and why? What did being in this place during this moment teach me? It was a difficult year personally and globally and we experienced that through this lens of being everywhere but home, kind of floating through places and seeing how being there altered our perspective.”
The music video for “Sister Cities” can be seen above. Sister Cities is out 4/6 on Hopeless Records. Snag your copy here.